Celebrity news & gossip from the world’s showbiz and glamour magazines (OK!, Hello, National Enquirer and more). We read them so you don’t have to, picking the best bits from the showbiz world’s maw and spitting it back at them. Expect lots of sarcasm.
LETTER of the day is in the Times. It concerns Dylan Thomas and the Royal Mail’s new stamps calling him a “Barrd ac awdur” (poet an author).
The stamp has been designed by Purpose as part of a set of stamps for the Royal Mail celebrating Britons with ‘Remarkable Lives’.
SURPRISINGLY, Damon Albarn used to be a smackhead. You’d never have guessed would you? More than that, he said that heroin “completely changed” him as a musician and he’s written about being on the brown in a new song on his ‘Everyday Robots’ LP.
“In those… lines I said everything about it that I wanted to. You know, ‘My ship across…’ it has some poetry to it. I’m happy I found that poetry. I can move forward not without all the nudge nudge, wink wink innuendo I’ve had in the background for years. It was a long time ago,” he said.
He’s now off the smack though, which is a relief.
ANY clue who these guys are? They’re the band Supertramp. If you didn’t know, it’s either because you are way too young to appreciate this article or it’s due to the fact that almost all Seventies rock acts looked relatively similar – like a generic group of hairy drug addicts.
Plus, it became “a thing” for Seventies rockers to shun the spotlight. Whereas, for most of the 1960s it was just a given that your album cover would feature a photograph of the band, in the 1970s, something changed…
AND so it came to pass that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are no longer together. She made the announcement on her website Goop. They have not split up. They have had a “conscious uncoupling”. They are like two parts of an inter-city train that has run its course. He heads into the Pumpkin cafe on Reading Station to eat a burger and crisps. She gets her pipes ABS system flushed with coconut water.
Or maybe they are a car uncoupling from a caravan: he the five-year-old Volvo estate; she the plumbed-in yurt.
The message reads:
It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.
Gwyneth & Chris
IN Ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal coined the term “bread and circuses” (panem et circenses), and to his credit, it is one that remains pertinent to this day, especially in our 21st century pop culture and entertainment.
Specifically, the idea of “bread and circuses” involves an artificial means by which the government or ruling class of a nation distracts or appeases “the common man.” In Rome, for example gladiatorial games in the Colosseum fit the bill, distracting and diverting people from significant issues such as poverty, war, and corruption.
WHEN anyone switches up the colour of their skin, an argument ensues. Over the years, there have been hundreds of white actors doing ‘Blackface’ and until relatively recently, the Black & White Minstrel Show was something broadcasters would put on national television, never once thinking that it would offend actual black people.
Since then, everything got confusing for people. In Fonejacker, Kayvan Novak – who isn’t white – indulged in, well, ‘Everythingface’, adopting rubber masks to pull his pranks. Of course, it doesn’t matter what colour you are, you can still be racist, but no-one could agree whether or not Novak’s show was acceptable. Most didn’t even think about it.
After that, ‘White Chicks’ got a cinematic release, featuring two black male actors done up to be white women. Where do you even start with that? For the most part, the response was ‘what a terrible, terrible film’, so everything paled into insignificance. Pun intended.
Now, we’ve got Mariah Carey’s husband (who herself, is a whole essay on skin colour, ‘whitened’ by record companies for years) Nick Cannon, has appeared doing ‘Whiteface’.
IN 1989, the City of Calgary, Canada, promoted the place with a song. It featured the joyous lyrics:
There’a feeling in the air that you can’t get anywhere expect….
Makes no difference where I go, you’re the best hometown I know.
Other Canadian cities realised they needed a theme song.
ONE of the funnest, daftest and most bizarre rock bands on the planet, are GWAR. A cavalcade of ogre faces, missing limbs, pantomime villainy, showers of blood and all manner of hilariously gruesome content, they were a b-movie writ large, parading around festivals and gigs, mixing schlock horror with stadium-sized metal.
They were so unreal, you’d thought they’d live forever.
However, sadly, frontman and founder of the satirical heavy metal outfit, Dave Brockie, was found dead yesterday in his Richmond, Va., home.
KATE Bush is touring again.
Why did she ever stop?
WHEN fashion designer L’Wren Scott was found dead in New York, her boyfriend Mick Jagger was in Australia, on tour with the Rolling Stones.
The papers have noticed that Jagger is not on twitter and does not subscribe to the iVulture dead celebrity news wire. So. It was left to someone else to tell him the grim news. And for the tabloids to gawp at the man and slap his face over their front pages:
HERE’S a challenge for the intrepid researcher: Go to Google and search for five or so reviews of the Veronica Mars (2014) movie from the mainstream press that don’t include the following term: “fan service.”
For the uninitiated in such things, fan service is a descriptor widely understood to mean the act of “giving the fans exactly what they want,” and for some reason, it is being applied to Veronica Mars on a remarkably consistent, nay universal basis.
IT’S actually amazing when you stop and think about it. A counter-culture movement originating in homosexual night clubs somehow wound up overtaking every nook and cranny of the pop culture landscape. From Hollywood to the fashion industry to ridiculous albums like the one pictured above – nothing was safe from the marauding cash cow called Disco.
So, why did it die a horrible death in the early 1980s?
There were plenty factors at work, such as a very real homophobic backlash. But that is an issue best reserved for a more serious discussion. Instead, let’s focus on 7 other primary suspects all wanted for “discocide”.
Pat Robertson’s Fever Dream: Four Times When Horror Movies Met The Devil’s Own Rock-and-Roll Music In The 1980s
JUST last week, the 700 Club’s Pat Robertson spoke out about the hidden scourge of our modern society: those demons from Hell who like to crash your car.
Yes, it turns out that devils can cause really horrible road accidents because — by merely watching horror movies — you have “granted them permission” to do so.
You know who you are…
Gene Simmons Thinks Hip Hop, Non-Guitarists And Karaoke Kiss Should Be Banished From The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame
YOU may remember Gene Simmons as the frontman of Kiss and a deeply upsetting sex tape. Mainly though, you’ll think of him as an opinionated gobshite who looks weird when he’s not in his makeup.
Well, Gene’s at it again, saying that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is “diluting” itself with hip-hop, pop and disco artists.
Now, Kiss are joining the Hall next month, and Simmons blasted “back room politics” for the inclusion of bands like Run DMC and Donna Summer.
WATCHING the Oscars and other such events lately, it’s becoming disturbingly common to spot actresses, now in their sixties, desperately hanging onto their youth. It seems overnight, all my favourite actresses from the 1970s and 80s have gone under the knife in a vain attempt at retaining their former sex appeal. It’s something we haven’t witnessed before – actresses from earlier days didn’t have plastic surgery at their disposal, and the intense need to “stay sexy” wasn’t perhaps as strong. Thus, the previous generation of starlets appeared to age much more gracefully than the ageing actresses of today. Here’s a few comparisons….
Here is Myrna Loy and Goldie Hawn, both age 26. They’re much alike in that they epitomized the sex symbol look of their time. However, as the years wore on, they showed their age very differently….
Here they are again, both approximately the same age: Myrna age 69 and Goldie age 68. Myrna looks like an elderly woman (which you officially are at age 69); whereas, Goldie looks like someone desperately clinging to a youth long gone. Seeing the aged Myrna and Goldie side-by-side is truly shocking. One woman accepts the fact that no one can escape the passage of time, and the other is in complete denial.
Katharine Hepburn age 32 and Cher age 20. Both actresses were stunning in their younger days, and Cher was able to reap the rewards of a seemingly ageless figure in the decades to come. However, you can only hold onto your sexy appeal for so long.
Here are Hepburn and Cher both aged 67. Hepburn has gracefully accepted the passage of time, wearing pants and putting her hair in a bun. But this doesn’t mean she had to act old; indeed, Hepburn was a vibrant as ever in 1973. The difference is that Hepburn is no longer trying to look sexy; whereas, Cher is still sporting the micro-miniskirt. Plus, Cher has had her wrinkles surgically wiped away.
Here is Hepburn age 68 and Cher age 67. Hepburn wasn’t afraid to play roles befitting her age – this picture is from Rooster Cogburn, where she wisely makes no attempt to cling to her former youthful allure. Instead, she bangs out a terrific performance alongside The Duke, wrinkles be damned. Her age may be showing, but it by no means subtracts from her onscreen charisma.
In stark contrast, Cher still plays to crowds wearing outfits borrowed from Brittney Spears’ 1998 wardrobe.
Lauren Bacall and Meg Ryan both age 55. Bacall still retained her confident panache, but thankfully retired the attempt at sex appeal. Meg Ryan, on the other hand, still wears the same haircut she wore in Sleepless in Seattle. Even worse, in her futile quest for eternal youth, she has turned her face into an unnatural mask.
Ava Gardner age 29 with her man, Sinatra, and Melanie Griffith, age 31, with her guy, Don Johnson. It’s probably unfair to compare Ava to Melanie, but both were knockouts. Yet, only one opted to age gracefully. Can you guess which?
Ava age 52 and Melanie age 55.
Melanie’s plastic surgery disasters have been much in the tabloids. As awful as they were, it’s wrong to keep pointing fingers and mocking. Instead, maybe someone should ask why these aging actresses feel the need to go under the knife time and again. There’s obviously something wrong here.
We shouldn’t give old Hollywood a pass either. Many of these old Hollywood actresses didn’t age gracefully – once their youthful sex appeal was gone, many couldn’t find work and receded into obscurity. Take for instance, Kim Novak, popular during the 50s and early 60s. She shocked many at the Oscars with her new “look”.
In the images above, Novak is 33 on the left and 81 on the right. EIGHTY-ONE-FREAKING YEARS OLD! Hollywood prides itself as being a liberal bastion, but there’s obviously a very old code still in effect that hasn’t aged one bit.
IN the 1960s, Glenn Stewart was a mod. There Is More filmed Glenn over six hours as he recalled him time as a suited and booted, Vespa driving mod.
It’s a lovely short film about one of Britain’s fashion tribes:
SNOOPY is back. The best cartoon do of them all is to star in a new Peanuts movie, coming to a screen near you on November 6, 2015.
That’s the good news?
Do you flinch a little when you learn that it’s produced by Charles Schulz’s son Craig Schulz and the screenplay has been co-written by his son Bryan Schulz?
IN “Courtney Love Thinks She May Have Found Missing Malaysian Plane – Hole frontwoman posts theory on Flight 370″ Rolling Stone adds a celebrity element to the hunt for the missing jet.
Jason Newman is on the social media news beat:
As the world continues to be puzzled and enthralled by the location and disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Courtney Love has weighed in with her theory of what happened to the plane that went missing on March 8th.
THE BBC have been doing a lot of reminiscing of late. They set up BBC Four and filled it with old episodes of Top of the Pops and documentaries about the kind of music 40 year old middle class white men like.
It’s been blues this, Beatles that; classic soul this, Danny Baker talking about his record collection that. It is all perfectly lovely and often worth celebrating.
However, get the feeling there’s a whitewash going on?
The BBC give blanket coverage of Glastonbury and white rock music throughout the year. When it comes to black music, they apply the classic rule of ‘Black music is only credible if it is 20 years old, or more.’
With that, the only black music you’ll get on the BBC is stuff about disco, rhythm & blues, 60s soul music, jazz and at a push, maybe a fleeting nod to some of the hip hop released in the late 80s. Again, this is not some shrieking liberal complaint, but it certainly feels like the BBC are more likely to do a show about The Mighty Wah rather than The Wu Tang Clan. And while it is fine to like and celebrate both, you have to concede that the boys from Staten Island are infinitely more influential than Pete Wylie & Co.
L’Wren Scott – photos of the woman who looked like she had it all:
BREAKING. Fashion designer L’Wren Scott has been found dead after hanging herself in her New York apartment this morning. L’Wren has been known, of late, as being the girlfriend of Mick Jagger. A spokesman for the Rolling Stones singer said he was: “completely shocked and devastated” at the news.
The designer was reportedly found by her assistant. There’s no suspicion of foul play, although newsrooms await the Medical Examiner’s report.
L’Wren Scott first made her name in the fashion industry as a stylist, before she went solo, releasing her eponymous line which was favoured by celebrities the world over, with fans including Michelle Obama and Nicole Kidman. In 2013, Scott collaborated with Banana Republic, appearing advertisements alongside the models.